For nearly three decades, SummerSlam has earned its moniker of “The Biggest Event of the Summer”, having presented some of the most memorable matches and moments in WWE history from the wedding of “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth to Bret Hart and The British Bulldog stealing the show in Wembley Stadium to Randy Orton becoming the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history to the epic final showdown between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker. With a new era upon us in WWE, the Superstars of RAW and SmackDown Live would be looking to make their mark on the lineage of SummerSlam as the 29th annual SummerSlam came to you, live on pay-per-view and the WWE Network, from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
For fifteen years, Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton have taken very different career paths on their way to legendary status in WWE. Upon arriving in WWE in 2002, Brock Lesnar made an immediate impact during the Ruthless Aggression era, racking up three reigns as WWE Champion in just his first year in WWE before departing the company in 2004 and, when he returned in 2012 after impressive stints in the UFC and New Japan Pro Wrestling, “The Beast” would pick up where he left off and this is dominating the competition, beating the likes of John Cena, Triple H, and, in his most infamous win, defeating The Undertaker at WrestleMania 30, ending the legendary undefeated streak of “The Deadman”. On the other side of things, Randy Orton has remained a mainstay in WWE since his debut in 2002, having racked up a historic twelve reigns as World Champion, not to mention becoming the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history, and defeating the likes of The Undertaker, Triple H, John Cena, Batista, and Mick Foley along the way, earning himself monikers such as “The Legend Killer” and “The Viper”. Now, in a match fifteen years in the making, these two main event caliber Superstars would collide in an explosive battle that not even the brand split can contain as “The Beast” Brock Lesnar will go one-on-one with “The Viper” Randy Orton at “The Biggest Event of the Summer” SummerSlam.
After RAW’s Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns failed to claim the WWE World Championship from SmackDown Live’s Dean Ambrose and bring the championship to Monday nights at Battleground, RAW was left with no World Champion. However, RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and RAW General Manager Mick Foley were quick to establish a brand new championship for the new era of RAW, introducing the WWE Universal Championship. This new championship would pave the way for the top draft pick from NXT to make an immediate impact and that is exactly what Finn Balor did. On his first night as a RAW Superstar, “The Demon” won a Fatal 4-Way Match and beat Roman Reigns in the main event on the same night to punch is ticket to SummerSlam where he will go one-on-one with Seth Rollins to determine the first ever WWE Universal Champion! While Finn Balor’s ascension to the top of the ranks on the main roster has been the quickest in recent memory, “The Demon” will face his toughest test on the grandest stage of his career when he collides with Seth Rollins. Will Seth Rollins make history at SummerSlam or will Finn Balor’s meteoric rise to the top of WWE continue by winning the WWE Universal Championship?
Perhaps no match on the SummerSlam card is more impassioned than the match for the WWE World Championship between champion Dean Ambrose and #1 Contender Dolph Ziggler. Throughout his entire career, Dolph Ziggler has scratched and clawed to make it in WWE and, while Dolph has had many successes, including two reigns as World Heavyweight Champion, Ziggler has not seen as much success or received as many opportunities as many people think that he deserves. As a result, “The Show Off” has sought out to prove to the world that he is champion material and, at SummerSlam, Dolph will have the opportunity to prove that he is, as Dolph puts it, “that damn good”, when Ziggler challenges Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Championship. Will Dolph Ziggler walk out of SummerSlam as the WWE World Champion and prove all the naysayers, including Dean Ambrose, wrong or will Dean Ambrose prove that Dolph just isn’t good enough to be the top guy on SmackDown Live?
The July 25 edition of RAW will go down in history as being the biggest night in the career of Sasha Banks as, on that night, “The Boss” epitomized what the evolution of the Women’s Division in WWE was all about when Sasha finally got her one-on-one shot at the Women’s Championship against Charlotte, finally dethroning Charlotte to become the new Women’s Champion, ending Charlotte’s time on top of the division after nearly a year. However, Charlotte is not one to just accept the loss and fade into the background as the former champion has emerged more vicious and more determined than ever and, at SummerSlam, Charlotte will get the opportunity to reclaim the gold when she challenges Sasha Banks for the Women’s Championship with the added stipulation that Charlotte’s protégé Dana Brooke will be banned from ringside!
Ever since John Cena returned from injury a couple of months ago, “The Face That Runs The Place” has been the focus of AJ Styles, who has sought to rid WWE of the fifteen-time former World Champion, even picking up a dubious victory over John Cena at WWE Money-in-the-Bank when Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson provided a big assist for “The Phenomenal One”. However, with the WWE Draft putting Styles on SmackDown Live while Gallows & Anderson are on RAW, the stage is set for an epic one-on-one match at “The Biggest Event of the Summer” as there will be no Club and there will be no excuses when “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles goes one-on-one with John Cena at SummerSlam.
Since reclaiming the United States Championship at Extreme Rules in May, Rusev has emerged more dominant and more ferocious than ever, paving a path of destruction throughout WWE, beating every challenger put in front of him. However, one major roadblock stands in Rusev’s way and it’s a Superstar who is every bit as capable of destruction as Rusev is and that Superstar is Roman Reigns. Making it a point to get in the face of the United States Champion on more than one occasion, Roman has made it clear that he is not intimidated by Rusev and, at SummerSlam, Reigns would get the opportunity to bring the United States Championship back to America when he challenges Rusev for the United States Championship at “The Biggest Event of the Summer”.
At SummerSlam, The New Day will walk into “The Biggest Event of the Summer” just two days shy of holding the WWE Tag Team Titles for an entire year, but it’s on this day that The New Day faces their most formidable opponents yet in Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. In recent weeks, Gallows & Anderson have been able to do what no other team has been able to do and that is weaken The New Day and, to do that, Gallows & Anderson set their sights on the biggest member of The New Day, Big E. Putting Big E on the shelf with a vicious two-on-one attack a couple of weeks ago, Gallows & Anderson have evened the odds in their favor heading into SummerSlam as they have eliminated the third man from the equation in regards to The New Day. This may spell the end for the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions in history as Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston would defend the WWE Tag Team Titles against Gallows & Anderson at SummerSlam. Will the absence of Big E lead to The New Day losing the WWE Tag Team Titles or will Kofi & Xavier prove that they do not need a third man on the outside to remain the champions?
SummerSlam would also feature an unusual tag team match as Brooklyn’s own Enzo & Big Cass would face the newly formed team of Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens, dubbed Jeri-KO! The Intercontinental Championship would also be up for grabs at SummerSlam as The Miz would defend the prestigious championship against the sensational Apollo Crews. Plus, in a 6-Woman Tag match that has produced a lot of unanswered questions over the last few days, the team of Becky Lynch, Naomi, & Carmella were originally slated to face Eva Maria, Natalya, & Alexa Bliss at “The Biggest Event of the Summer”, but after the news was broken that Eva Marie will be out of action for 30 days, this match remains up in the air. Will Natalya and Alexa Bliss find a tag partner to replace Eva Marie or will they be forced to go it alone in a 3-on-2 Handicap Match?
- 12-Man Tag: Kickoff Exclusive: American Alpha, The Usos, & The Hype Bros def. Breezango, The Ascension, & The Vaudevillains by Jey Uso pinning Aiden English following the Uso Splash.
- Kickoff Exclusive: Neville & Sami Zayn def. The Dudley Boyz by Neville pinning Bubba Ray Dudley following the Red Arrow.
- Best of Seven Series Match #1: Kickoff Exclusive: Sheamus def. Cesaro by pin following the Brogue Kick to go 1-0 in the series.
- Jeri-KO def. Enzo & Big Cass by Chris Jericho pinning Enzo Amore following an assisted Codebreaker.
- Women’s Championship: Dana Brooke Banned: Charlotte def. Sasha Banks (c) by countering the Bank Statement into a pinfall to win the Women’s Title.
- Intercontinental Championship: The Miz (c) (with Maryse) def. Apollo Crews by pin following the Skull Crushing Finale to retain.
- AJ Styles def. John Cena by pin following the Phenomenal Forearm.
- WWE Tag Team Championship: Gallows & Anderson def. Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston (c) (with Jon Stewart) by DQ after Big E attacks Gallows & Anderson. As a result, Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston (c) retain.
- WWE World Championship: Dean Ambrose (c) def. Dolph Ziggler by pin following Dirty Deeds to retain.
- 6-Woman Tag: Nikki Bella, Natalya, & Alexa Bliss def. Becky Lynch, Naomi, & Carmella by Nikki Bella pinning Carmella following a TKO.
- WWE Universal Championship: Finn Balor def. Seth Rollins by pin following the Coup de Grace to become the first ever WWE Universal Champion.
- Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) def. Randy Orton by TKO.
See page 2 for detailed results.